By Cal Widdall
Canadian hipster bull is intrigued by rising Chinese sperm demand.
As the Chinese dairy industry has grown, so too has its need for high quality bull semen, leading Chinese dairy farms to look overseas and at Canada in particular. We’ll try to go easy on the gags about Western bulls hooking up with Chinese cows, promise.
Prized Canadian cattle hold a high reputation, which they have milked in order to attain a remarkable 20% of the world market for dairy bull semen. The business is extremely lucrative, with each
load dose of imported Canadian bull semen selling for over 100RMB and sometimes up to 300RMB (for what we’d guess is semen from the Wayne Gretzky of the bull world).
With no need for tentative offers of “language exchange” or awkward introductions at Starbucks beforehand, a large dairy operation may go through several thousand doses each month (in the industry, one dose is known as a ‘straw’ due to the appearance of their container, but we’re not keen on the image that brings up in our heads, so we’ll stick with ‘dose’).
Nearly $500,000 in embryos and $3.3 million in bull semen were sold to China in 2010, making the mainland the seventh-largest export destination for Canadian bull semen after the U.S., parts of Europe and Japan.
Hua Xia dairy farm, a high tech dairy outside of Beijing, is one of many Chinese buyers. With nearly 8,000 cows, the dairy purchases 1,500 Canadian
straws doses each month. Alex Tseng, the assistant manager, just can’t get enough Canadian bull semen, and says that the imported bovine baby batter has “produced really nice, pretty cows that produce a lot of milk.”
Despite the growing popularity of foreign bulls, some Chinese cows have made it clear that they don’t care where their mates come from, but that they’d better have their own car and barn.